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July 23 2014

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Jane, Not So Plain

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After playing the famously unlovely leading lady in director Cary Fukunaga’s new film adaptation of Jane Eyre, Mia Wasikowska could do with some glamour. Aptly, the petite, nearly pixieish actress donned a floaty, chiffon-dappled Elie Saab tea-length frock at the W magazine and Saab-hosted (that’s the automaker, not the Lebanese designer) screening last night and it was something of a relief. “I always find the costume is the last piece of the puzzle for getting into character,” Wasikowska said. “Especially for this movie, it was so important to feel the repression. The corsets are awful, I couldn’t wait to get out of it every day.”

Set to open in select theaters nationwide this Friday, this remake of the Charlotte Brontë classic novel is the latest in a long line of cinematic interpretations. But the coming-of-age (and finding love, naturally) plot never seems to exhaust its evergreen appeal, especially among a smart female set. Glenn Close, her daughter Annie Starke, and Zoë Kravitz all caught the flick and after-party later at the Soho Grand Hotel. Rose Byrne professed that “it was one of my favorite books I read in school. It’s one of the seminal novels.” (The occasional guy has a soft spot for it too, like designer Thakoon Panichgul, at left with Wasikowska, who stopped by the bash.)

Another part of the draw was Wasikowska’s co-star, the handsome Michael Fassbender. (The duo also posed together for the April cover of W.) In the film, the actor takes on the conflicted role of Edward Rochester, a man who locks his mad wife up in the attic. “He’s a really troubled guy, almost bipolar you could say,” Fassbender described. Lucky for the ladies, his real-life persona was much more light-hearted. The actor revealed that Catcher in the Rye was his preferred classic. “Although,” he added with a laugh, “Winnie the Pooh was really the first book to make an impression on me.”

Photo: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

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